Upon closing my eyes after seeing Katt Osborne’s and Tarryn Gill’s wonderful interdisciplinary performance work Unheimlich, the spooky, giant cat-faced spirit from the show entered my dreams. The piece is enrapturing but also disturbing and it is certainly bleak. It presents, in an episodic, abstract fashion, the implosion of a couple, or more particularly the psychic and emotional breakdown of both parties. It is not for the faint-hearted, even if it is gorgeous in the use of light, colour, and various textures (woolly masks, hard tiles, etc). This is a series of unsettlingly beautiful sculptures rendered as an on-stage dreamscape.

Unheimlich PICA

Sarah Nelson and Jacob Lehrer (as cat) in Unheimlich. Photo © Christophe Canato

Five principal artists are responsible to this very “unhomely” (as “unheimlich” translates) performance. Gill rendered the masks which serve as the inspiration for the show. Theo Costantino developed the text, which includes extended rants from a nasty cat-beast, as well as a series of basic interactions over a board game in which one is invited to identify faces and which then is recited again –...